Gabbi and Helen: Bring Your Principles Into Your Canadian Private Practice | Ep 41

The work that you do and the services that you provide to your clients are often magnified when you work within your expertise and when you incorporate your principles. 

Your past experience and values will shine through in your Canadian private practice and marketing efforts, and when you openly center your practice around what matters to you, you can automatically attract your ideal clients! 

In this podcast episode, I speak with Gabbi and Helen about how they were able to quickly launch and grow their Canadian private practice, and how betting on their principles helped them to do so.

Jane is an all-in-one health and wellness practice management platform designed to be helpful to you, no matter how or where you practice. Available online and on any device, Jane offers branded online booking, beautiful scheduling, insurance management, customizable charting, online intake forms, patient reminders, integrated payment processing, online appointments (telehealth) and more! Use the code FEARLESS at signup to receive your first month completely free!


Gabbi and Helen are registered social workers who specialize in providing therapeutic interventions to individuals, couples, and families going through separation and divorce. For over 20 years they worked with complex family units that experience trauma and separation. Now in private practice, the focus of intervention is designed to be client focused with the fundamental scope of service being to ensure parents maintain a healthy relationship with their children.

Learn more about Gabbi and Helen on their practice’s Facebook profile and LinkedIn.

In This Episode

  • Bet on your principles 
  • Work in your area of expertise 
  • Bring your values into your marketing 
  • Develop your network 

Bet on your principles 

‘ We’ve had to turn some business away, but we’re really shaping what our focus of [our] business is.’ – Gabbi 

Whether the pandemic forced you to go virtual or you decided to move your business online due to a desire for change or efficiency, there may be some growing pains in becoming accustomed to providing services and running your business online. 

Wherever you are in your Canadian private practice evolution, bet on your principles. Make informed decisions regarding your private practice that are based on your skill set, your values, and the need that you want to serve in your community that’s within your niche. 

‘I can definitely agree with you [that] being clear with your focus and not taking on work that you can’t handle [is the best option]. – Julia Smith 

Work in your area of expertise 

‘As a therapist, you can do more damage than good by taking on work that is not familiar to you.’ – Helen

You can do the best work when you provide mental health services and therapy from your Canadian private practice when you work within your area of expertise – and the niche that you enjoy working with! 

If you have not specialized in treating and working with clients that struggle with eating disorders, then refer them out, and stick to your niche. Work with your strengths, because then you are better able to help people while enjoying the work that you do. 

‘That’s a good skill to have and to just be aware of yourself: what can you do, and what can’t you do? And [make] sure that you follow that “rule”. – Julia Smith 

Bring your values into your marketing 

Gabbi and Helen provide therapy and services for their clients from a place of compassion, but also from a place of experience. They use this approach – this genuine empathy – to show potential clients in their marketing efforts that they truly can help them and provide the necessary support. 

‘When we developed our website, that [provided] a striking opportunity that felt like we’ve really had to zone in [our niche] because we had to talk about our services, and we had to talk about what we were offering … we wanted to make sure that we were really getting across what we were doing, and that helped us zone in on the work.’ – Helen  

You can have an idea of what your niche is, but through the process of creating your business and marketing efforts, your values and focus will help showcase what it is that you do, and how you can offer help to your clients.

Develop your network  

Start with who you know and go from there. 

Within your niche, from fellow Canadian private practice owners to other businesses that work with your ideal clients, make connections with other people and see what is needed. Are there needs that need to be filled? Can you fulfill them, and how? 

While you work on your relationships, continue to work on your marketing because they go hand-in-hand. 

Consider creating: 

  • Facebook pages 
  • Instagram accounts
  • Blog posts 
  • Accessible information that would be valuable to your clients 

‘For me, it’s really important in growing your business because people are looking, and I’ve had people come up to me that I had no idea that are looking and they say, “You know what, I don’t comment but your content is great and it’s helpful” … it confirms that people are looking for information and they’re watching [for it].’ – Helen  

Connect With Me

Resources Mentioned and Useful Links:

Ep 40: Victoria Rodriguez: The Surprising Benefits of Offering In-Home Therapy

Sign up for my free e-course on How to Start an Online Canadian Private Practice

Jane App (use code FEARLESS for one month free)

Learn more about Helen and Gabbi’s practice on Facebook, LinkedIn, and their website

Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherSpotifyAmazon, and TuneIn 

About Julia

Julia Smith, MEd, RCT, CCC is a registered Counselling Therapist who owns a group private practice in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is also the owner of Fearless Practice Consulting and hosts the Fearless Practice podcast. Through the Fearless Practice podcast, she provides invaluable insights and practical advice on starting and growing a successful Canadian private practice. Julia’s wealth of knowledge also extends beyond the podcast, as she provides personalized one-on-one consulting to therapists who are feeling burnt out and overwhelmed with their solo or group private practices. With Julia’s expertise, therapists can confidently navigate the complexities of owning a private practice and find work life – balance. 

Julia also has written articles for the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy association. You can learn more at